I’m sure someone will ask so might as well outline the way I set up my (ever evolving) home network. For the record, I find this stuff fun, please do not unfriend me.

  1. ISP: I use the local cable provider and got a 2nd hand cable modem they sell for their integrated TV/Voice/Internet-Wi-Fi service, called them to get it registered under my account and I put it in “bridge mode” so all it does is being a modem. This enables me to use the gear I want and own Vs theirs, but can’t use the TV service or the voice service which is OK as I don’t need them.
  2. Firewall: I recently migrated from Untangle (community edition) after many happy years with it to OPNSense. Why?
    1. The 10+ year old PC I ran the firewall on was showing it’s age so I got me one of them sexy black boxes, re-used RAM I had on hand and bought a new M.2 drive (might as well)
    2. I have been aching to try OPNSense because that’s what the cool kids seem to use these days, and it’s a forked project of the mighty pfSense.
  3. Current state of my ever-changing home network, click to expand.

    Switching: I have a limited number of devices to plug in so I use 5 of the 6 ports on the new appliances as a switch and complement with a “dumb” (aka unmanaged) Netgear 24 port switch. Do I need 24 ports? No, but it was only a few more dollars than the 16 so heck I went big. VLANs are handled directly on the OPNSense box. I also added a “dumb” 8-port gigabit switch I had doing nothing in my pegboard to simplify cable management.

  4. Wi-Fi:
    1. I use 3 access points from Ubiquiti, distributed in the house to compensate the way it’s designed and the heated floors do cause some signal interference as it’s electrical and not water-based. Overkill to support over 800 Wi-Fi connected devices in a town house you say? I would agree but this .. is fun.
    2. Unifi APs enable enterprise-level functions at affordable prices, which is great for home. I have 8 SSIDs set up out of a limit of 12 (I think), a SSID is a “Wi-Fi network name” like “Bob’s Home Wi-Fi” or many funny ones. I have some SSIDs for the home automation devices, the regular stuff like phones and computers, some to mess with, a guest one for home visitors and one guest for when I have customers over. Overkill again you say? Yes.
    3. To connect them physically, I use MoCA adapters from Actiontec as I was too dumb to think about fishing wires when we moved in this house a few years ago, prior to painting all the walls. Learn from my mistakes dear reader. I also tried Ethernet to powerline adapters I had but the result was a tad flaky and with “the work from home pandemic situation”, I found MoCA and never looked back.
    4. The Unifi controller resided on my Proxmox VE server, I wish these APs would work without that though like the HP/Aruba, Ruckus & Cisco products.
  5. Virtualization: Proxmox VE for the Unifi controller mentioned above, along with WordPress to try things, Cloudflare Tunnels to “remote” into my home lab services directly and Home Assistant.
  6. Dashy
    My Dashy dashboard, a work in progress. Click to expand.

    Network storage: I use a Synology DS216+II with 2x 4TB NAS drives, mirrored. I also use 2x 4TB external USB hard drives for offsite backups. I use Docker on the NAS to run GuacamoleJellyfin, Uptime Kuma and Dashy as a dashboard for the home lab.

  7. Not in diagram:
    1. An Eaton 5S1500LCD UPS to make sure everything shuts down smoothly. Why this one? Everything supports it apparently and it has great support under NUT.
    2. A Kasa Smart Plug with a basic LED lightbulb and a ThirdReality open/close door sensor to have light when I open the closet door and close the light too when I close the door. When you have trinkets handy, might as well use them!

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